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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

Power Grid

10 Greatest Fighters of Fictional Nazis

Allow Us To Explain

Allow Us To Explain

A certain imminent movie release got us thinking about Nazis, and how, unusually, for an actual historical movement, they’ve developed into the kind of perfect narrative scapegoat that’s normally reserved for entities of entirely fictional origin.

Which is not to say they don’t deserve it, because they do. Overwhelmingly so. It makes perfect sense that they’re right up there with zombies, demons, and non-sentient robots as entities that heroes are allowed to be absolutely brutal to without catching flack for it or otherwise in some way exploring the moral consequnces of their actions.

There’s nothing morally questionable about fighting fictional Nazis. Just look at those similar examples I just listed. There are plenty of sympathetic non-sentient robots in literature, demons and zombies, too (frequently in parody or satire, but sometimes played straight). But a sympathetic Nazi (a Nazi through and through, that is, not a character who was peer pressured into the party, attempted to right the wrongs he had committed, or given some other kind of moral out)? You’re looking at a Monty Python sketch.

And because there’s nothing morally questionable about fighting Nazis, when characters do, it lends itself to delightfully unfettered storytelling. If the villain makes the hero, then it doesn’t get much more heroic than fighting Nazis. And where would the Indiana Jones movies be without Nazis?

Well, they’d be Temple of Doom and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull respectively, but perhaps that just reinforces my point.

You are always in for a good time when the heroes are fighting Nazis. Not actual Nazis, but fictional Nazis, the yelling, sputtering, cowardly, goose-stepping caricatures that we’ve created in an attempt to make some, any kind of sense out of the act of genocide.

And then have our heroes punch it right in the freakin’ face.

As usual, this Grid is dedicated to the runners up: Bigby Wolf, Donald Duck, Bobby Shaftoe, and all of the Inglourious Basterds.

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  • Sarah

    My favorite enemy of Hitler: Blue Beetle and Booster Gold piloting a forklift.

  • Hillary LaBonte

    My favorite Hark, A Vagrant comic is the Wonder Woman Nazi-fighting one:  Great list!

  • Bel

    But where is Integra Hellsing?!

  • Maria Caliban

    Captain American can wallop on the Nazis because we know they’re evil. They tried to conquer Europe and killed 6 million Jews. But the USA is good. We succeed in conquering a land the size of Europe and killed over 6 million Native Americans. The 12 million Africans we then captured and enslaved is just the cherry on top.

    Remember, you’re only evil if you lose.

  • Anonymous

    This reminds me of a discussion about video game violence in college in which a classmate brought up the point that games such as Grand Theft Auto where the victims are civilians, and even some realistic war games, are the ones that receive the most complaints and are the target of conversations about whether or not violent video games are causing kids to be more violent. However, he explained, games in which you kill Nazis are ok despite the graphic nature. I look for that in media now and have noticed that is usually the case. I’m thinking of Inglourious Basterds, a movie I enjoyed a lot, where there is a ton of violence directed toward Nazis but it didn’t seem as objectionable because they were Nazis.

    I’m curious if sometimes video games and movies are rated not because of the graphic nature but because of the intended enemies? Have other people noticed this?

  • Francesca M

    Is there anything better than ratzis getting the stuffing kicked out of them. You don’t have to feel bad for them, you just get to sit back and watch the awesomeness. Wonder Woman (Be it Polly or Diana) fighting Nazis is glorious.  Cap punching HItler. Heck if Marvel devoted an entire crossover event where Cap punches Hitler through out time and space, I’d read that. I still feel that was the ultimate problem with the last Indiana Jones Movie, Lack of Nazis. Oh another great Nazi fighter, Charlie Chaplin, see The Great Dictator as him skewering Hitler via satire. It is brilliant, or you can just watch Robert Downey jr. do it in Chaplin. Now there’s a thought, Robert Downey Jr, fighting Nazis. HOLLYWOOD…. I NEED THIS MOVIE!

  • Maggie Champaigne

    I clicked on this just to make sure Hellboy was on here.  Hellboyyyyyyyy!

  • Jade

    @Bel Because if you can’t go wrong with Nazis, then baby-eating Nazi vampires ups the ante even more.

  • Bel

    All the more reason this is a greivous oversight.  

  • Rose Jones

    Thumbs up for including Ms. Price, the nazi-fighting witch, into this list. She’s definitely a Hogwarts teacher at heart :D

  • Bel

    Speaking of Hogwarts teachers, shouldn’t Dumbledore technically appear here as well?

  • Bruce Townley

    Well spotted. I was going to post that very link to the excellent Hark! A Vagrant

  • Bruce Townley

    Then there’s Alan Moore’s Tom Strong who has faced off against Ingrid Weiss and her Swastika Girls a couple of times.

  • Elias Algorithm

    We did learn it from the British.

  • Anonymous

    I watched the clip and I still don’t believe Captain Planet vs. Off-Model Hitler exists. How the heck did they get away with that?

  • Anonymous

    You are quoting Propaganda, the number of Jews killed at Aushwitz was lowered from 4 million to 1.5 million several years ago, although the Nazi’s are still evil.  Also, Americans didn’t actually go and capture any slaves, they bought them from the slave traders who were already in business, check out David Duke’s video about the slave traders for more info.  Can’t fault you on the Native American numbers, I suspect they are actually higher, and you forgot all the Palestinians that America pays to kill each year with it’s 3 billion dollars in military aid to Israel.  Who is actually evil?  How many Libyan civilians have been killed while America bombs it to save it from itself?  How many Iraqis did America liberate from life while invading the country looking for WMDs that didn’t exist?  How many Afghan civilians have died since America “saved” them from the Taliban?  How many Pakistanis have been killed by remote control over the last year or so?  Who is evil???

  • Michael J

    It sounds like you Maria Caliban, are proud of the facts that the USA slaughtered Native Americans whose land this nation was for in the beginning and to talk with praise of Africans who were enslaved as if this was the most wonderful thing to happen, just makes me sick to my stomach.All you did here is sound like every ignorant fool out there who has a racial prejudice against people of other races, who aren’t white.

    America’s history has it’s ups and downs but through it all it grew and things changed in such a profound way that has allowed people of color such as myself wonderful opportunities to be great in my own right.Thanks to Dr.Martin Luther King but you could care less about things like that, seeing as how you relish in your words of atrocities of the past as if they were a thing of beauty.

    You said, “you’re not evil if you lose.”I’m sure the Nazi’s were feeling the same way when they took over Germany and killed million of Jews, while enslaving many more.I’m sure you take comfort in knowing that you and the Nazis shared something in common.The so called thinking, with great power and not losing to your enemies means that you’re not evil.